George Hancock & Sons Celebrated Cutlery, Sheffield rare circa 1834 stiletto blade “garter dagger”, orig sheath


Original Sheffield-made garter dagger George Hancock & Sons circa 1834 stiletto; polished horn and German silver fittings handle, orig sheath.  Scarce “lady dagger” type by a rare maker; very good overall condition. FREE SHIPPING WITHIN THE U.S. INCLUDED.

1 in stock


Sheffield-made garter dagger George Hancock & Sons circa 1834 stiletto with polished horn and German silver fittings handle and original sheath.  Scarce “lady dagger” type by a rare maker in very good overall condition, considering the age.

Rare circa 1834 concealed-carry lady’s stiletto commonly known as a “garter dagger”, or a “prostitute dagger”. These handy little stilettos would normally be tacked into a boot or discreetly carried hanging off a lady’s leg garter – just like envisioned on one of Western Americana paintings by the famous illustrator Harry L. Parkhurst (see a scan copy of the famous artist attached). However, contrary to the common believe, this type has not been exclusively used by women of  “oldest profession”. Firearms of the era were bulky, heavy, hard to reload, and generally not very reliable. Small daggers on the other hand were easy to conceal in oversized garments of the “good old days”, were light/always ready for use, and are deadly at close range. Not to mention, one would never “run out of bullets” with a knife. These dual-edge stilettos were very popular with women (and men) of all classes, regardless of what the name implies.

Sheffield-made knives always played a huge part in American history. From the Gold Rushes in California and Yukon to the battles the Civil War and in the frontier – Sheffield Bowies and daggers were hugely popular in every corner of the United States. This rare specimen was made circa 1834 by George Hancock & Sons Celebrated Cutlery located at 15 South Street, Sheffield, England. Around 1836 the company relocated and changed the name so this type is relatively easy to date. Very attractive dagger with a polished horn/German silver fittings handle, and original sheath. Well-used condition with some typical insect damage to the horn, but still in better than average condition for the type, considering the age.

The dagger is about 9″ / 22.8 cm overall; the blade is about 4-5/8″ / 11.7 cm long. No damage the pommel or the guard, all German silver fittings are intact; all parts are tight with no play. Polished horn has some insect damage but is structurally sound. Well-defined spear-point blade is very sharp still; the tip is intact; some pitting at the tip is noted for accuracy; ricasso is stamped with the company name on one side. Original veneer sheath with German silver throat. The top black leather layer is embossed with a golden “rope” border. The sheath is well-used; the garter stud is gone and the metal tip is missing. Still, these original sheaths are VERY hard to find in any shape or form nowadays as they simply did not last as long as the knives.

This rare Sheffield-made garter dagger George Hancock & Sons “lady stiletto” has not been cleaned or tampered with in any way; it is in 100% original “as is” condition; these are the actual photos. Don’t miss your chance to add this antique garter dagger to your collection!  I have a few more vintage European knives, as well as WW2 era combat knives and bayonets, scarce WW1 and WW2 fighting daggers and trench knives from other countries available for sale – please take a look in our Militaria section.

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International shipping for this item will be $39 and up to most countries on our “ship-to” list.

Additional information

Weight 1.1 lbs

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